Alliance Laundry invests Bt1.5 bn on Chonburi factory
March 24, 2018
ALLIANCE Laundry Systems, which claims to be the world leader in commercial laundry equipment, yesterday announced a Bt1.5 billion investment for a new manufacturing plant in the Hemaraj industrial estate, known as HESIE 2, in Chon Buri province.
Construction will begin in April and the plant will come online in early 2019.
Jan Vleugels, chief operating officer international of Alliance Laundry Systems, said that before deciding to set up in Thailand the company did research on eight countries in Asia. The company was won over by the country’s “strong infrastructure, excellent geography, skilled workforce as well as an extensive supplier base”, due to the government’s initiative to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor.
“Choosing Thailand was a strategic decision, as sales to Asia Pacific have been the fastest growing in the world,” Vleugels said. “We see tremendous growth opportunities in many verticals in this region, such as hospitality, healthcare and institutions.
“This decision to add manufacturing capabilities in Thailand further strengthens Alliance’s commitment to our customers and distribution partners in Asia. Once online, the facility will dramatically shorten lead times for customers in this market.”
The company, based in Wisconsin in the United States, has a portfolio of five brands – Speed Queen, UniMac, Huebsch, Primus and IPSO – as well as a sustainable solution for cleaning delicate fabrics such as silk, wool, leather called SoftWash.
The new Thailand manufacturing plant “will focus on building Alliance’s advanced-technology clothes washing machines and tumble dryers”, Vleugels said. This will be the company’s fourth manufacturing location, after those in the US, the Czech Republic and China.
“In the first phase the plant is expected to produce up to 32,000 units per year. The plant, which will begin construction in April will be completed in January 2019. Once completed, the plant will be the main supplier for all countries in APAC,” Vleugels said.
“Then from January to April 2019 will be the training and trial production period,” he said, adding that the firm is in the recruiting process and plans to take on 350 employees from Thailand in the initial stages.
Vleugels said that the plant would then start its official production in April 2019 for washing machines; it is expected to take four months to reach its full capacity for that line. After that the plant will begin another line of production for tumble dryers, which is expected to take four months as well in order to reach its full capacity. Thus, it would take an estimated eight months from April 2019 for the first phase of the plant to reach its full capacity.
“Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing market for our products. Hence the increase in the hospitality, healthcare and other related industrial sector will translate to a direct growth in the need for quality commercial laundry machines and dryers,” Vleugels said. “Also, we expect to see a growth in the number of laundromats as there is a tremendous growth potential in Thailand and APAC for this type of business.
“In the next three years if everything goes according to plan, we plan to invest a similar amount (around Bt1.5 billion) on the second phase of the manufacturing plant.”